Posts Tagged 'Bible'

Are you IN the way?

galaxyAnna and I went to a new church today.   We’d visited there once before when we first moved to Bend, but hadn’t returned since.   No reason really, just at that time we knew it wasn’t where we needed to be.  It was a great service and as expected, the teaching was really good.   Antioch Church in Bend.

Pastor Ken shared a story about taking a group of 11-12 year old troubled youth from LA to the mountains for a retreat back when he was in college.    Late one night, he “snuck out” with the kids and they all took their bed rolls out to a hillside and watched the twinkling of the stars well into the night.  For every single kid, it was the first time that they had been able to see the stars.   They were astonished.  The light pollution in LA had been so severe and none of them had ever been above it so they’d never seens stars.  Can you imagine that?   They had no idea the glory of looking into a clear night sky and seeing million of God’s most wonderful creations twinkling down at them.

He was driving towards how religion can many times be the same as light pollution.  It can be a distraction and get between people and God making it actually harder for them to see and find Him, or what He is bringing.  Religion should rather encourage, get behind people, come alongside and encourage, empower and assist them toward God.

I immediately wondered if I do that as a coach.  I believe that coaching, discipling, mentoring takes an enormous amount of humility and submitting to the Holy Spirit as well as a sound foundation of biblical truth.   But it’s still very easy to find ourselves swayed by the current thought or philosophy of the day.  Not all of it is bad of course and there’s nothing wrong with bringing good wisdom and teaching into the life of leaders BUT I (we) need to guard against getting between people and God and rather, stay behind or alongside of them encouraging, cheering them on and assisting them to be and do – who and what  GOD desires.

What do you think?

1-22-09

Sunrise

Sunrise

I couldn’t think of what to name this post so I just dated it.   I wasn’t planning on blogging this morning, it’s early and I’m reading the bible as I start my day but I am overwhelmed by a simple truth.

In Genesis there is a well known story, I would assume even by those that do not read the bible, about Joseph, the son of Jacob.  Is is 1 of 12 brothers, all sons of Jacob and he is the favorite.   Joseph unfortunately in his youth does little to bridge the divide that forms with his brothers because of his status in the eyes of his fathers and immense it must have been because one day his 11 brothers see him coming from afar and decide to kill him.   One of the 11 has the wits about him to hold off the slaughter so they throw him in a pit and decide to sell him into slavery for 20 pieces of silver.

If you read on in this story it is unbelievable how many bad things happen to Joseph as he tried so desparately to be a man of faith, of integrity of deep unwavering character.   At every turn he is faced with this decision to turn on God, turn on his faith, give up, throw in the towel and believe me, as I read this story again I’m astounded that he doesn’t.

As the story comes to a close, however, we find Joseph as 2nd in command of Egypt, saving millions of lives during a famine and being restored to his father and brothers.   His explanation is simply that what they meant for evil, God meant for good.

Simple?  Yes.

What happens to us in life, betrayal, has been happening since the first act of man towards his Creator.  It happened to Christ when every single one of his 12 discpiles abandoned him when he was being put on trial and ultimately killed.   Abandonment, betrayal, these are not things that happen only to us, they are a fact of life.

It’s the simple way that these men, Jesus, Joseph, others…react.  They had as we have the same choice to grow angry and bitter at our circumstances or to trust.   To trust that our lives are meant for good, the circumstances that we face, no matter how lonely or how base are somehow, someway meant for good.  Even when people do us wrong, ultimately I, we, can trust that there is a larger story playing out, on a much grander scale than we can ever understand.

That gives me optimism and encouragement today, I hope it does you too.

WHAT A PRIVILEGE….

I’m working through reading the Bible in a year. I was challenged by my good friend Roye and so far have kept up with it. Today I read a story in Matthew 20 and wanted to comment on a lesson I saw.

The story is told by Jesus and is about a boss who, early in the day, hires workers to work for him at a set wage.  He then goes out to the town and several times throughout the day hires more workers to work in his fields as well; all the way until the 11th hour, which I’m assuming is late in the day.  Then at the end of the day, he pays the workers who started later the same as he pays the workers who started in the morning.  The workers that worked all day grumble and complain because they see that everyone made the same amount of money even though they all made what they agreed upon.  The boos hearing their grumbling simply responds to one of them,”Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?

Here’s a GUIDEPOST.

We have to guard our hearts against having an “entitlement mentality”; a sense that we somehow deserve unwarranted or unjustified gain simply because. These workers were not grateful, they were ungrateful; yet they had work, they received the wage they’d been told they’d receive, no wrong had been done to them. Their entitlement mentality caused them to take their focus off of what I think it should have been, and that…simple gratitude.

Here are some ways I’m working on this in my life.

  1. Daily try to cultivate a generous heart
  2. Look outside yourself as often as you can
  3. Approach everything as a privilege

What’s your GUIDEPOST from this story?